CITIC Deepens Backing For B&R

One Belt, One Road Stimulating Great Cooperation Between States

State-owned CITIC Group Corporation said it will continue to boost financing of and investment in, infrastructure projects related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

Chang Zhenming, chairman of the group, said that the Belt and Road Initiative is a “new force of promoting the development of the world economy” which will further push China’s opening-up and serve as a “rare opportunity” for Chinese companies.

CITIC Group has financed projects related to the Belt and Road Initiative. In 2015, CITIC Bank, the group’s banking subsidiary, and other subsidiaries, declared they would provide investment and financing totalling 700 billion ($102 billion).

The bank has also accelerated its global expansion by setting up a representative office in London, and signed a strategic memorandum with Kazakhstan’s Halyk bank to acquire its subsidiary Altyn Bank, the first such deal for a Chinese commercial bank in Kazakhstan.

In 2015, the group also won the bid to invest and develop a port and an industrial park in the special economic zone of Myanmar.

In addition, the company stepped up export of high-end equipment to countries and regions related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

CITIC Heavy Industries Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the group, sold its products in more than 30 countries including Russia, Thailand and the Philippines, with overseas markets accounting for more than 40 percent of the total revenue.

“CITIC Group has encouraged its financial and non-financial units to join hands in advancing the Belt and Road Initiative. The business synergy could facilitate the sharing of overseas resources and channels between CITIC subsidiaries, and help lower various costs in developing our overseas business,” Chang said in a recent interview.

According to Chang, CITIC Group has signed agreements with 31 large companies and 15 local governments and ministries at home and abroad so far.

The group is working with Thailand’s Chia Tai Group and Japan’s Itochu Corp to jointly explore business opportunities in infrastructure, retail, e-commerce and energy, all identified as key sectors by the Belt and Road Initiative.

It has also formed partnerships with financial institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the China Development Bank and the Silk Road Fund to exploit opportunities presented by the Initiative.

While developing its overseas business, CITIC Group has recognized that people-to-people bonds are important for the success of the Initiative, Chang said.

He further said the group is aiming to win long-term trust and support of its local partners. The company has taken measures such as setting up local factories, employing local workers, and opening occupational training schools to help improve local management skills.

By Li Xiang, China Daily
Zhuang Qiange contributed to the story.